This promotional poster advertised the grand opening of Branson theme-park Silver Dollar City on May 1, 1960. The sign is designed like a wanted poster, featuring “wanted” in old-fashioned letters and the bust of an outlaw to evoke the 1880s theme of the park. A family favorite for over 60 years, Silver Dollar City continues to draw visitors from Missouri and across the United States to experience its old-timey charm and attractions.
Silver Dollar City got its start in April 1950, when Hugo and Mary Herschend took over the management of a popular tourist attraction called Marvel Cave. Wanting to improve the waiting area for visitors, the Herschends decided to create an “Ozark” village reminiscent of an old mining town once located nearby. After Hugo’s death in 1955, Mary and her two sons, Jack and Pete, began constructing the village that would become Silver Dollar City.
On its opening day, the park welcomed visitors to a town square with a general store, blacksmith shop, ice cream parlor, doll shop, and two restored log buildings from the 1800s. A small staff of roughly 17 people acted as Silver Dollar “citizens,” entertaining the crowd with street theater. Over the next few decades, Silver Dollar City gained national attention and expanded to include stagecoach rides, a steam train, comedic train robberies, and folk art festivals. Today, the 100-acre theme park boasts 12 stage venues, more than 40 attractions, 60 shops, and 100 artisans.